Top 10 Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors - UPDATED 2018

Guide To Finding the Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors – Updated January 2018

Cleaning Hardwood Floors with best vacuum cleaner

Hardwood Floor Vacuum

We'll will get right to it.  Here is your step-by-step tutorial to help you find the best vacuum for hardwood floors.  Choosing a good vacuum is a huge pain.  But hardwood floors need a special type of vacuum that will pick up all the gross debris off the floor.  At the same time, you need to make sure it won't ruin your newly finished and beautiful wooden flooring.   We have assembled this step-by-step guide to help you get through the cluttered landscape of mediocre vacuums to find the best hardwood floor vacuum for your situation.

Step-By-Step Guide To Find the Best Vacuum

This Guide, has all the information you need to make the best choice from all the vaccuum types available. This guide will help educate you on what’s best for sucking up dirt from your hardwood floor and why certain features are crucial while others are unnecessary. You’ll learn about the different types of vacuums.  You will also see considerations about your home, and features that will help you in your cleaning.  Finally, you will be able to decide exactly what, you should be looking for in your next vacuums.

Top 5 Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors of 2018 - Comparison Chart

ModelCorded or CordlessBag or BaglessWeight (empty)Beater BrushRating
11. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright NV356E30 ft. cordBagless14 lbs.Yes; includes hard-floor attachment Editor's Choice
22. Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner -
CordlessBagless10 lbs.Yes, includes on/off switch4.1
33. Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister VacuumApprox. 20 ft. cordUses bag; one provided with purchase13 lbs.Yes; switches modes with touch of a switch4.3
44. Hoover Hardwood Floor Cleaner FloorMate SpinScrub with Bonus Hard Floor Wipes -
27 ft. quick-release cordBagless4.2 lbs.no3.8
55. Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum, 81L2A20’ power cordBagless7.1 lbsno4.2

Step 1  What Type of Vaccuum do You Need for Hardwood Floors?

It’s easy to think that all vacuum cleaners are alike, but there are many differences that make each model individual and useful in its own way. One vacuum may be designed for use on a thick carpet while another is meant for small messes on hard flooring surfaces. Because of the variety on the market today, you should be paying attention to what type of vacuum cleaner you want to use for your own home.

There are a few main types of vacuums. Here are the important facts about each style and how they relate to hardwood floors:

Upright Vacuum

Uprights are vacuums that can stand on their own when not being used. When you’re pushing around this type of machine, you’ll be pushing the full weight of the appliance around as it is built in one solid piece. These are usually tall and a bit heavier than the other types. For the most part, the Upright vacuum will have the most powerful suction out of all the different styles. Many have separate hand held attachments available to give it greater versatility.  Depending on the type, you can get great filtration, if vacuuming up pet hair is one of your concerns. Some have a lift away section and other innovative features to make cleaning your house easier. If you have exclusively hardwood floors, there are only few uprights that will do well for your needs. This is mainly due to the fact that they use very harsh bristles on the beater brushes on the main vacuum head. These brushes can scratch wood floors. Using the hose attachment only and dragging around the large body is not a practical way to clean an entire home.  But there are still some Upright vacuums that work well vs a canister vacuum.

Best Canister Vacuum

The Best Canister Vacuums have a sucking head which connects to the mobile engine and filter through a long hose. These types are made up of two pieces, the head and the body, making them much easier to move around the house. Weight is not a big deal with canisters, because the engine is low to the ground and can be pulled along behind you as you do your work. However, if you have a lot of stairs, then sometimes it can be cumbersome to drag the two pieces around.  The canister can be one of the best types of vacuums for a floor with hardwood as it is easy to take around with you and has strong enough suction power to clean very well. In addition, the head of a canister comes with interchangeable heads for a variety of purposes making it simple to avoid brushes that might harm the floors.

Stick Vacuum

Similar to an upright, a stick vacuum is essentially a very skinny upright without all the features and strong suction power. These can be corded electric or battery powered depending on the model. In general, there are no extra heads that can be swapped out on a stick vacuum and no hose for smaller or higher up places. If you have a more compact home, a lot of frequent small messes or if you want something lightweight to do simple cleaning with, a stick can be a good choice for you. However, they are not effective for any heavy duty clean-ups or for cleaning large homes.

hardwood vacum buying guide

Get the best vacuum for your floor with hardwood

Handheld Vacuum

These cleaners are small enough to be carried around with you anywhere in the house. Sometimes these vacuums are known as a dustbuster.  If you are looking for the  top rated dustbuster for your hardwood floors, we have a guide for that too.  Handhelds are almost exclusively battery powered, making them even more portable. Unfortunately, they don’t often have strong suction power and do not come with extra features like an extendable hose or separate attachments. They can be a great resource for cleaning long staircases and smaller messes as well as for spot cleaning and touch-ups but are largely impractical for whole-house cleaning. Handhelds work well on hardwood floors, as there is not as much need for high suction power.

Best Cordless Vacuum

If you have a smaller space to clean, a cordless vacuum can be a great option.  These vacuums are generally light-weight and very maneuverable.  The best cordless vacuums are able to slide under furniture to clean areas that other vacuums aren't able to reach.  In addition, they are very handy, since you don't have to mess around with plugging them in, you can just "Grab and Go" to take care of quick cleaning tasks that happen when your kids spill cereal all over the floor.  Many of the best cordless vacuums for wood floors have attachments that allow you to clean walls, door frames, window sills and the like.  

Robot Vacuum

Robot vacuums have come into their own recently.  The collision avoidance software is much better then it used to be.  We are finally ready to recommend that people start purchasing these.  They work very well for cleaning hardwood floors.  They are fun to watch, because they are doing the work.  Not you.  They still have limitations; they are more for maintenance instead of for deep cleaning, but they are great for picking up pet hair, and gross hair and dust from your tile floors and your laminate flooring. 

Step 2    Considerations When Buying a Vacuum for Hardwood 

Have you decided what type of vacuum you think will be best for your home? Now it’s time to look at some of the particulars you might be interested in. Vacuums are made for almost every purpose you can imagine so look through these questions and see if there is anything that you might need that you didn’t think about before:

the best vacuum for hardwood floors and tile floors

Hardwood floor vacuum cleaners

  • What Kind of Wood Is On Your Floors?

Your wood floors might be made of a softer, more delicate wood or a harder, coated wood. Whatever the case is you need to make sure your vacuum cleaner will work with the needs of that floor. Specifically, if scratching is a big issue on your floor (Which it pretty much always is.) you need a vacuum with more padding and rubberized bottom areas. This will help to keep the plastic body from scratching your floors or causing any other sort of damage.

Additionally, do your floors have deep grooves and lines in the wood? If this is the case, you might want to look for a model with higher suction power to make sure those grooves get properly cleaned out each time you run the device over them.

  • How Many Separate Floors Do You Have?

The amount of ground you have to cover with your vacuum as well as how many staircases you need to clean can really affect what features and characteristics you should be looking for. Those with a large 1-story home can get by with a model that is medium to heavy weight as it won’t have to be carried around. If there are stairs in the house, a lighter vacuum is a necessity to make traveling up and down the stairs easier.

  • Is there any carpet on your floors?

If your home is exclusively hardwood then you can go with any type of vacuum that works well on hardwood floors regardless of its performance anywhere else. However, if you want to use your device on any sort of carpeting, even a large area rug, you should look for a model that can adapt to fit the needs of a hard surface as well as a carpet.

There are many cases where you will need a one-size-fits-all device that works on both the hard surfaces of the house and the carpeted rooms.​ 

 These two choices will make your appliance compatible with your whole house.

  • How Much Filtration Power Do You Need?

Every vacuum comes with at least 1 level of filtration, and some come with an additional small filtration layer. The first layer is in the form of the dust bag or dust collection cup. Dust bags come in different varieties and act as great filters that capture dust and seal it in for easy disposal. Dust collection cups are usually easy to empty straight into the trash and also simple to clean out. Dust collection cups are more economical and environmentally friendly as they do not require replacement unless they break. Dust bags usually have better dust retention rates and will not spill when being thrown out.

The second layer of filtration is a smaller filter near the air exit point of the vacuum. This collects the tiny particles that might have made it through the dust bag or dust cup and keeps them from being thrown back out into the air in your home.

If you suffer from any type of allergies, asthma, or other breathing conditions than you will probably want a vacuum cleaner with the best possible filtration system. Look for HEPA filters (not HEPA-type or HEPA-style but certified HEPA filters), closed dust bags rather than dust cups and a sealed body. All of these filtration measures will help to keep every particle of dust that you suck up from leaving the system.

Better filtration systems come at a higher price and usually require a little more upkeep. If you don’t have any sensitivities to dust in the air such as the conditions listed above, you may not really need this type of system. HEPA filters are great for keeping the air quality clean, but they are also expensive to replace. There are HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters which do almost as well as the actual HEPA filters for a much lower price. The difference in air quality probably won’t be felt by most people, but those with a breathing-related condition will be able to live a better life in the cleaner air of an original HEPA filter + dust bag system.

  • What Types of Messes Do You Vacuum?

Different models of vacuums are intended for different types of messes. Many are made for general cleaning while others are specifically intended for a certain type of cleaning. You can find vacuums which are made primarily for sucking up hair, while others are intended for dust and dirt. Others  work best for larger particles like food spills in the kitchen.

Define the purpose of your vacuum cleaner and choose based on what you will be using it for. Handheld vacuums with dust collection cups work well for dry kitchen messes and touch-ups, while larger canisters with a variety of brush heads and suction attachments are perfect for cleaning every part of the house.

  • How Much Noise Can You Stand?

The simple truth is that cheaper vacuum cleaners will almost always be much louder. The vacuums that are well designed to be sealed up and padded inside will block noise while those that are focused more on a low price point will not include noise-canceling features. Mothers with younger children, those who live in apartment buildings with a lot of other people, or anyone who just doesn’t like noise should opt for a design that contains as much of the noise as possible.

Another difference with noise... Many times you will find that up uprights are designed to be the quietest while canisters vacuums tend to be louder. The design of a canister can usually be made more silent as the engine body is separate and can be sealed off more than in an upright where everything is too close together. Smaller vacuums don’t produce as much noise as larger models, making sticks and handhelds a good choice for low volume needs.

Best Vacuum For Hard Wood Floors

Keep Your Hard Wood Floors Cleaner With A Good Vacuum

Step 3    Best Features for Hardwood Vacuums

What are the features that you should be looking for in your vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors? There are many sets of features offered by different companies most of which are not really essential to the function of the device itself. Try not to get distracted by all the bells and whistles that come on a certain model. Instead, pay attention to these key features:

  • Versatile Attachments

Hardwood floors need a variety of attachments if you want to get the cleanest home possible. Arguably the most important element to consider is a large suction head without a spinning beater brush. Beater brushes can make terrible scratches on hardwood floors. Choose a vacuum that includes a large head either without a beater brush or with the option to turn the brush off.

Look for a convenient set of attachments to help you clean all the edges and other spaces around your home as well. This includes a slim edging wand, one or two small and medium sized brush heads and a soft suction brush head for surfaces like window shades, drapes and mechanical devices.

  • Low-medium Suction Power

Few hardwood floors will require a vacuum cleaner with strong suction power. In most cases the strongest suction is needed only for larger carpets and is completely unnecessary for hardwood floors. For this reason you can spend your money more wisely and get a high quality vacuum with a little less power. This choice will enable you to get a model that will last your for years while cleaning everything you need it to.

If you have natural, untreated hardwood floors or floors with deep lines or grooves, it might be a good idea for you to look for stronger suction (although it’s not strictly necessary). It is possible that on these types of wood floors will collect dust and dirt further down from the surface that will need to be sucked up.

  • Padding

The plastic body of a vacuum can do a lot of damage to your wood floors as it is dragged and pushed around the house. A lot of lower-end models or versions meant primarily for carpets will not have much rubberized or felt padding on them and will be chiefly made of hard plastic. It’s a better idea for you to get a device that’s been designed for hardwood floors. These will usually feature more rubberized or felt padding around the bottom and sides of the vacuum body.

Wheels also need to be rubberized or feature some sort of padding as they will always be in contact with the floor. Be careful with upright vacuums for this very reason. Uprights are normally designed for carpets and they will have wheels made of hard plastic without any rubber or padding to protect your wood flooring. Canister vacuums usually feature larger wheels with some sort of rubber to help them roll around more easily and protect floors as these vacuums are generally the type that are chosen for cleaning hardwood floors.

  • Lightweight

As we mentioned before, weight can become an issue if you are planning to clean your entire house with the same vacuum cleaner. Try to choose a more lightweight brand if possible to avoid causing damage from bumps, falls or normal dragging around. Heavier machines are more likely to show some wear and tear on your floors than lighter machines.

  • Long Extension Hoses

No matter what type of vacuum you choose, you will have to make sure it can reach all areas of your floor and home without hurting your back so much. Choosing a short extension hose is a bad idea as you will have to do a lot more bending to reach certain parts of your home. This can be painful for your back and tiring for your arms.

Long hoses relieve the stress you would otherwise be putting on your back and allow you to clean more efficiently for a longer period of time. If you have to reach anywhere up high or between cramped spaces, a long hose plus a extendable wand will be your best bet for accomplishing these tasks without causing yourself any pain.

Step 4   Where to Buy the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

By now you probably have a good idea about what kind of vacuum cleaner you want to get for your home. The biggest question now is: where should you get it?  You have two options, each with its own benefits:

​In Store

Buying a vacuum from a store allows you to give it a mini test run before taking it home to use for yourself. You’ll be able to feel the weight for yourself and decide whether or not the device seems useful and well built. This is a great advantage but it might come at a cost as many stores will have higher prices than you can find online. 

Hard Floor Vacuums Online Shopping

Shopping for a vacuum cleaner online is easy. All you need to do is look at a site such as or some of the various other outlets, and you will find almost every model and brand available for some of the best prices around. While you won’t be able to test them out and get a feel for how they are, you can always go to a store and see if you can check out the vacuum there before buying it online!  We think we have put together a pretty good outline of the better vacuums for hard flooring on the web, so take a look below and make your choice.

Step 5 - Decide If Pet Hair Is An Issue For Your Vacuum

Hardwood Floor vacuum for Pet Hair

Wooden Flooring Vacuum for Pet Hair

While pets are a great addition to your home, they can make a real mess on every surface in the house. Pet hair has a way of sticking to anything and everything and it might be hard to remove from some tucked away corners. Choosing the best vacuum for pet hair that is specifically designed to handle different kinds of pet hair and to suck it up without issues might take a lot of time off your average cleaning session. Rather than going over the same spots a few times to make sure you got all the hair up, you will be able to do each section just once.

As well as pet hair on the floor, many owners have to deal with pet hair on surfaces like the couch or the bed. Your vacuum can also help you deal with this hair if you choose the right one. Whichever type you get, make sure it has a hose that can accept attachments. Either purchase a separate pet hair attachment head for the best possible results or look for a small upholstery brush or beater brush to get the job done.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, and where you should go to get it, it’s time for you to make your own decision on what you want to get based on your own home! We have found that for the most part, our pics seem to have the most competitive pricing on Amazon vs. other on line sites.  People keep telling us that they have saved lots of money here. So click on any product link below to see more details on

**You'll see more detailed product reviews here, but you can also click the links below to see current prices and read customer's reviews on

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I vacuum?

In rooms which have lots of people in and out, vacuuming daily is ideal. Being more realistic, once or twice a week should do the trick. Take your time, go over the area more than once and move in parallel rows back and forth for best results

How many strokes are needed with my vacuum?

6-7 strokes is perfect for really thorough cleaning. If not many people use the area, you can drop this to 3-4 strokes and still get great results

Which is better, a vacuum with a bag or a bagless vaccum?

One is no better than the other, they are simply different. A test from the Good Housekeeping Institute showed them to both clean equally well. With a bagless vacuum, you save on buying bags but they can be messy to empty. Also, you need to clean the dust containers and filters. Vacuums with bags contain the dirt and dust nicely but if you lose something like a ring inside it can be difficult to locate. Think about which type suits your needs best and buy accordingly

How do canister and upright vacuums differ?

If you want versatility then go for a canister vacuum. They work as well as uprights on carpet but are also superb for bare floors, stairs and dealing with dirt stuck in awkward corners

Do vacuum cleaners with more amps clean better?

Not necessarily. This rating is simply a measurement of the electrical current used by the motor. In terms of performance, more important are the amount of suction produced, the airflow, attachments and overall design so do not be fooled into focusing too much on the amps

When should I change the bag on my vacuum?

Change it when the bag is filled as far as the indicator line. A smarter move is to switch the bag when it’s only three-quarters full. For those of you with pets, more frequent changing is recommended. To err on the side of caution, check every other time you vacuum

Is it harmful for my vacuum or my carpet if I use powder fresheners?

No. Start with a clean bag for best results. Since using powders can cause clogging, it’s wise to change the bag afterwards

What are the attachments for?

A motorized nozzle is wonderful for vacuuming rugs or pile carpets. A wall brush or floor brush is suited to bare floors. A crevice tool can help if you need to get dust out of your drawers or clean AC and heating vents. Upholstery attachments can be used for car interiors, fabrics and curtains. A dusting brush comes into its own for lampshades, blinds or moldings

When should I change the filter on my vacuum?

The good news is that is does not need changing as often as the bag. If it looks worn or dirty then it needs replacing. If you have a HEPA filter – the filters that remove the majority of dust particles – then switch it every six months or so. Refer to the user’s manual for precise guidance and instructions on replacement

What is a sealed HEPA system of filtration?

This particular type of filter system is completely sealed. Everything, including the motor exhaust, is filtered. It copes well with bacteria, pollen, dust and other allergens

How do washable filters and rinsable filters differ?

They are only different in terms of the way you clean them. Use soap and water for washable filters but water only for the rinsable variety

How high should I set the nozzle adjustment?

This depends on the height of your carpet. Use the lowest possible setting for low-pile carpets and ramp it up for thicker and more plush carpets. If you have chosen the right level then you will not need to expend much effort when vacuuming

How do I know when to replace the belt on my vacuum cleaner?

When your vacuum shows signs that it’s not cleaning so efficiently or the brush roll stops turning, it’s time for a new belt. Switch off your vacuum and unplug it. With a screwdriver and a replacement, you can easily do this yourself. If you are not confident then call a technician

My vacuum cleaner is not picking up dirt properly. What should I do?

A full inspection is in order. Turn off your vacuum and unplug the cord. Check if the belt is broken or worn. Examine the roller brush. See if the bag is full. Are there any blockages anywhere? If these basic checks are performed with no results then you need to head to the repair shop

Can I clean an Oriental rug?

Yes. They are fragile but also need regular cleaning. If you have an agitator brush then turn it off. For canister vacuums, clean the rug gently with a bare floor brush. Take special care around the fringe. Make sure that you clean the underside of the rug from time to time as well

What is the best way to clean carpeted stairs with my vacuum?

Use the upholstery nozzle for carpeted stairs. Alternatively, use a brush attachment. Make sure you clean the stairs regularly and then it will be a simple job each time. Little and often works wonders

How can I remove stains from my carpet?

Mix up 1 tsp of a fairly mild detergent with a cup of lukewarm water. Dip a clean cloth into your solution. Gently dab and blot the stain until nothing remains. White vinegar and water also serves to get rid of many stains and you will not need detergent. Use 1/3 cup of the white vinegar to 2/3 cup water for optimum results

How can I stop the bad smell coming from my bagged vacuum?

Replace the bags regularly to stop odors building up. HEPA bags help to prevent smells. If you still notice a problem then try some special cleaning solutions and you can eliminate any odors that come from pets and spoil the cleaning experience

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